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02 November 2019 Venue Meadow Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Vanarama National League

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Match Previews

Preview: Hartlepool (H)

1 November 2019

Vanarama National League action returns to Meadow Lane this Saturday as we host Hartlepool United.

We’ll be looking to continue our fantastic home form and extend our unbeaten run on our own patch to nine matches in all competitions – and we’ve won the last five.

That’s been helped by a stingy defence, with Sam Slocombe not conceding a league goal at Meadow Lane in over 500 minutes of football.

We go into this one seventh in the table after a comprehensive victory over Woking in the week – the perfect tonic to defeat at Chesterfield last Saturday.

Hartlepool, meanwhile, had a break in midweek, with Solihull Moors, who they were scheduled to play, in Scottish Challenge Cup action.

That meant caretaker boss Antony Sweeney has had a full week to prepare his side as he looks for a fourth straight win in all competitions since taking the reins following Craig Hignett’s sacking.

Pools have kept three successive clean sheets for the first time since March 2016 and sit in 12th ahead of the weekend’s action.

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The boss says…

“We’re confident in ourselves because our home form has been good and we enjoy playing at Meadow Lane.

“Hartlepool have good momentum, though. Their caretaker manager has come in and been great, and the players have the belief that they can win matches.

“We don’t know how they’ll attack the game but there is a reason they’re on a run and where they are in the table.

“They’ve got some good players and they’re one of the bigger clubs in the league, and I think the momentum will be a big thing for them.”

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Team news

Neal Ardley informed the media on Thursday that Pierce Bird is suffering with a hamstring injury but, besides long-term absentee Jim O’Brien, he’s the only player sidelined.

Although cough and cold symptoms have been running throughout the squad, the boss isn’t expecting anyone to miss out through illness.

Sweeney will assess the fitness of top scorer Gime Toure ahead of the game after he underwent a procedure on his injured hand earlier this week.

Luke Williams is now back in full training and will hope to earn a place in the squad, while Myles Anderson is also close to a return as he recovers from concussion.


Head to head

We’ve got an excellent record against Hartlepool in recent years, taking three points in each of our last five meetings.

We last faced Pools in the 2016-17 season and won home and away in the league, as well as recording a 2-1 victory in the Football League Trophy.

Hartlepool’s last win at Meadow Lane was in December 2006, when Andy Monkhouse netted the only goal of the game.

The officials

Referee: Joe Hull

Assistants: Paul Tomes and Jamie Rhodes

Fourth official: Matthew Tyers

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Around the division

LV Bet, the National League’s official betting partner, highlight the pick of the fixtures this weekend...

Wrexham v Bromley

• Leaders Bromley have won only two of their last six games after a midweek draw at home to Stockport County.

• All of Wrexham’s three wins have come at home - the struggling Dragons have lost just twice at the Racecourse this season.

• Bromley have scored in every game since the opening day of the season. Top scorer Michael Cheek has 8 goals to his name.

• Wrexham have lost their last three - and they haven’t scored more than one in a game for ten matches.

Notts County v Hartlepool United

• Notts have won five of their last seven National League games - scoring an average of two goals per game in that run.

• Pools have won their last three games under caretaker manager Tony Sweeney.

• Notts haven’t let in a goal at home since they played Chorley in August. They have won four in a row at Meadow Lane.

• Hartlepool striker Nicke Kabamba has four goals in four games and scored a double against Barnet in their last outing.

FC Halifax Town v Torquay United

• FC Halifax won for the first time in four on Tuesday at Sutton to go to within a point of leaders Bromley.

• No side has scored more than Torquay United this season - and Jamie Reid is the league’s joint top marksman with 12.

• The Shaymen have only won one of their last five at home, scoring in just one of those matches.

• Torquay have lost two of their last eight away games and have scored eight times in their last three matches on the road.

Eastleigh v Harrogate Town

• Defeat to Dover in midweek was Eastleigh’s first loss in seven matches.

• Harrogate are the division’s form side, winning six of their last seven to climb to a season-high of fourth.

• Eastleigh have lost only one game at home this season - but they have drawn five of their nine matches.

• Harrogate have scored in each of their last nine matches, however they haven’t scored more than two goals in a game since August 6.

Yeovil v Boreham Wood

• Yeovil have won five of their last six at home - but were beaten by Harrogate last time out at Huish Park.

• Boreham Wood have won more matches away from home this season, taking 13 points on the road compared to 12 at Meadow Park.

• The Glovers have scored in every game they have played since their August 17 trip to Barrow.

• Wood possess nine-goal Kabongo Tshimanga - but he hasn’t found the net since September 21.

Top Picks from LV BET

• 23/33 Both teams to score in Wrexham v Bromley

• 5/12 Pools to be the first side to score against Notts at home since August

• 9/1 FC Halifax Town and Torquay to both score in both halves

• 10/11 Over 2.5 Goals in Eastleigh v Harrogate Town

• 11/1 Yeovil to draw 0-0 for the first time this season

New LVBet customers will get a 50% bonus of up to £50 on first sports betting deposit. Claim the welcome offer here! (t&c's apply)


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Match Reports

Notts 2-2 Hartlepool

Thomas' heroics earn us a point

2 November 2019

Wes Thomas took his tally for the week to four, finding the target twice to earn us a point against Hartlepool.

We had to do it the hard way after a deflected effort from Gavan Holohan gave the visitors an early lead, which Luke James added to with half-time looming.

Thomas chased down a lost cause to reduce the arrears in the dying moments of the first period, before heading home just after the hour to level proceedings.

We probed for a winner but were forced to settle for a point, as our unbeaten run at home was extended to nine matches. 

Neal Ardley made one change to the side that won so impressively at Woking in the week, with Sean Shields returning to the XI after dropping to the bench in Surrey. Regan Booty was the man to make way.

In fine form at the Lane, we started brightly and put Pools under pressure early on, but it was the visitors who claimed the game's first shot on five minutes, when Gus Mafuta picked up possession in space and struck from 25 yards - Sam Slocombe comfortably watched the ball miss the target.

He was picking the ball out of his net only three minutes later, though, and cursing a deflection in the process. A right-wing cross was headed clear but only as far as Holohan, who struck towards goal, and a nick off Ben Turner took it beyond the dive of the keeper.

The centre half had a header held by Ben Killip as he looked to restore parity, before Thomas failed to divert his volley goalwards after stretching to meet McCrory's deep cross.

Pools went close again on 18, when Mafuta's searching ball found James, who did well to take the ball inside Richard Brindley after bringing it down on his chest. From the edge of the box, he struck a low shot, but dragged it wide of Slocombe's right post. 

Chances were hard to come by for either team, and the next opening of note wasn't until the 36th minute, when Nicke Kabamba met Peter Kioso's dangerous cross from the right. The visiting striker got his header all wrong, though.

Pools were looking threatening and there was pinball in our area as the interval approached, with Rose and Thomas both making important interventions before Enzio Boldewijn was booked for a foul midway through our half as the visitors looked to launch another wave of attack. 

But Hartlepool were two to the good with 42 on the clock, when Kabamba rolled a great pass through for James, who checked inside Turner and curled past Slocombe.

We looked set to need a big turnaround in the second period if we were to take anything from the game, but Thomas got it underway before the half-time whistle was blown.

McCrory sent a deep pass into the channel on 44 minutes and the striker beat Fraser Kerr and the onrushing Killip to the ball, getting just enough on it with his toe to send it trickling over the line. 

That was to be the last action of the half and, although Thomas' goal helped matters, there was still plenty of work to do, and Ardley responded by sending Booty on for Shields at the break.

We were attacking the Air-IT Kop in the second period and swiftly won a corner which got supporters off their seats, but it came to nothing.

Pools went close to restoring their two-goal cushion on 52 minutes, when Mitch Rose cheaply conceded possession inside our half and the ball was worked to James, who looked to curl beyond Slocombe again, but this time his effort beat the post.

The keeper was called into action with 57 played, when, shortly after Kerr had been booked for manhandling Kyle Wootton, Kioso drove into space down our left-hand side and shot from inside the area. Slocombe made a great stop at his near post to turn the ball behind.

Having ridden our luck to an extent, moments later we were level. Good play down the left gave McCrory space to cross but an important intervention got the ball clear. It was worked to Booty, though, and he drove towards the byline before standing a delivery up which that man Thomas met in front of Killip to nod home his second of the afternoon. 

The mood around Meadow Lane understandably lifted, and the same pairing almost combined again moments later, but this time the substitute's low ball was cut out as he looked to tee up the striker. 

We seemed to have the momentum and, just after Pools substitute Niko Muir had struck a weak shot straight at Slocombe, Rose's eyes lit up when he found space 25 yards from goal. He struck the shot fiercely, but a vital touch from a defender carried it over the bar. Turner met the resultant corner at the back post but his header went straight at Killip.

We were building up a head of steam and, moments later, Wootton won a free-kick just outside the area, which Booty fancied hitting. A Pools man was in the way, however, and the ball went behind.

Shouts for handball from the corner were waved away, as were stronger claims when Wootton hit the deck after beautifully controlling a pass from Michael Doyle inside the area. 

Thomas had a half-chance for his hat-trick on 84 minutes, when Brindley met a deep cross from the left on the opposite flank and drove the ball back across the box. The striker couldn't take the pace off the delivery, though, and his effort sailed over.

The two-goal man made way for Kristian Dennis on 88 and the substitute was instantly involved. A rapid counter-attack led to Boldewijn cutting inside his man on the right flank before shooting and Killip could only parry. Both Dennis and strike partner Wootton looked to snap up the rebound but the flag was raised.

As four minutes were added on for stoppages, two Pools subtitutes combined as Jason Kennedy drove a cross into Muir, but his improvised effort was easily saved by Slocombe, before Wootton's stooping header went just wide following Brindley's delivery. 

That was to be the last chance of the afternoon as we were denied a sixth straight home win, but our unbeaten run at Meadow Lane continues.

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Ticket News

Tickets: Hartlepool United (H)

Special offer for Armed Forces to mark Remembrance Day

2 November 2019

Armed Forces personnel are entitled to discounted tickets for our Remembrance Day fixture against Hartlepool United on Saturday 2 November (kick-off 3pm).

The club will be paying their respects to those who gave their lives in service to their country when Pools visit Meadow Lane and all Armed Forces personnel are entitled to purchase a pair of tickets for £10.

Please note - these tickets are unavailable online and relevant ID must be shown at the point of purchase/collection.

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Category Derek Pavis Stand Air-IT Kop Stand Haydn Green Family Stand
Adult £22 £22 £22
65 and over £16 £16 £16
18-21 £16 £16 £16
Armed Forces £10 (for pair) £10 (for pair) £10 (for pair)
Under 18 £9 £9 £9
Under 16 £7 £7 £7
Under 12 £1 £1 £1
Under 7† Free Free Free

Tickets for non-Armed Forces supporters aged 12 and over rise by £2 on matchday.

†Under 7s' tickets can only be claimed online if an adult purchase is made in the same transaction.

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Season ticket holders who have not already used their voucher can claim a free extra ticket for this match.

The easiest way is online. Simply log in to your account, select the correct match, choose a seat in any home area of the stadium and select the ‘Bring a Friend’ price bracket. You will then have the option to receive the additional ticket by post, as an e-ticket or in person at the ticket office/club shop.
Alternatively, visit the ticket office/club shop or call 0115 955 7210.
Click here for a full list of Bring a Friend fixtures for the 2019-20 season.
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Tickets can be purchased online and printed at home by clicking here.

Alternatively, visit the Meadow Lane ticket office or call 0115 955 7210.

Tickets to the value of £1.50 or more will be subject to a 60p per ticket administration fee when purchased online or over the phone.


To enquire about hospitality for this fixture, please email or call 0115 955 7222.

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Supporters with complex learning difficulties are able to book tickets in the club's sensory rooms by emailing

Parents and carers are able to visit the rooms before matchday if they wish to check its suitability.

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